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Many Financial Reports Are Tardy

September 20, 2015

Timely information is crucial during government decision processes like budgeting. However, most states issue their Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) long after their fiscal year’s end. The national average for states publishing their financial reports is 192 days after the fiscal year’s end; this is twelve days past the deadline of 180 days.

Most corporate financial reports are issued within 45 days of their respective fiscal year ends. Many question why states cannot meet his goal. There are internal difficulties and obstacles for states to reach this standard; however, timely financial information is critical so citizens and legislators to be knowledgeable participants in this crucial decision making process.

In 2014, seven states did not publish their reports until over 250 days after the fiscal year end. In 2013, only four states did not publish their reports until over 250 days after the fiscal year. New Mexico wins the 2014 Tortoise Award for publishing its 2014 financial report on August 11th, 407 days after its fiscal year end. For a full breakdown of the states’ financial reporting timeliness, read Appendix VI.

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